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HMRC internal manual

Cider Guidance

Cider production: making process: what is not cider?

If:

  • the finished product contains any fruit other than apples it is classed as a made-wine, not a cider (this is particularly relevant as there are many ‘fruit flavoured ciders’ being introduced to the UK)
  • the finished product contains anything other than non-alcoholic permitted ingredients it is classed as a made-wine, not a cider
  • the finished product has been made by adding any fermented alcohol (other than apples) it is classed as a made-wine, not a cider
  • cider is distilled to produce, for example, apple brandy, it is classed as a spirit.

Where a cider maker is actually producing a made-wine or spirit, they will need to be appropriately licensed or approved in accordance with the requirements of those regimes.

Further information can be found in paragraph 5.5 of Notice 162 (GOV.UK), Notice 163 (GOV.UK) Wine production, Notice 39 (GOV.UK) Spirits production in the UK and Notice 40 (GOV.UK) Spirits rectifiers and compounders and spirits drawback.